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RFL announces new Inclusion Board

Rugby League’s progress towards becoming a truly inclusive sport will be driven by a new RFL Inclusion board.

The board has been established as part of the game-wide commitment to diversity, inclusion, and anti-discrimination campaigning, announced last Autumn.

Its members are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds such as education, media, business and retail, and include well-known Rugby League personalities Michael Lawrence of Huddersfield Giants and Alex Simmons, formerly of Rugby AM and currently head of diversity with the Leeds-based Inter-Marketing Agency.

Together they will oversee progress against TACKLE IT – Rugby League versus Discrimination, the ambitious and far-reaching action plan which sets out how Rugby League will extend its reach and appeal, diversify its talent pool, improve its culture and actively deal with discrimination.

RFL Chair Simon Johnson said:

“Through TACKLE IT the whole game has made a commitment to meet discrimination head-on and break down any barriers to involvement in Rugby League. The new Inclusion Board members can help make sure this happens and I am delighted to welcome them to the RFL. They are all enthusiastic champions of diversity, inclusion, equality and anti-discrimination campaigning, and will be a tremendous asset to our sport both as individuals and as a group.

TACKLE IT is an action plan developed by the game, for the game – the result of listening and learning from people across Rugby League. Their insight, honesty and commitment got us to this point, from here on it’s down to all of us to deliver.

“I’ve been asked ‘what does success look like?’. It is a game that is fully representative of its communities, and where we make the most of the immense talent, passion, skills and experience which exists. This work complements, and accelerates, our work on the gender balance in our sport, and LGBQT and disability inclusion.”

Inclusion Board members are:

  • Mr Aaqil Ahmed – Media Consultant
  • Ms Aisha Suleiman – Education Programme Manager, Amazon Web Services; Chair and Executive Board Lead, Amazon Black Employee Network
  • Mr Alex Simmons – Alex Simmons, formerly of Rugby AM and currently head of diversity with In Diverse Company and Operations Director for Jamaica men’s Rugby League team.
  • Mr Chris Gibbons – Director, Inside Inclusion
  • Mr John Hughes – Director of Partnerships and Communities, Community Integrated Care
  • Mr Michael Lawrence – Professional Rugby League player, Huddersfield Giants
  • Ms Nikunj Upadhyay – Group Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Wates Group
  • Dr Rimla Akhtar MBE – RFL Non-Executive Director and Inclusion Board Chair

The RFL received a high volume of expressions of interest in board member positions. Members are expected to:

  • reflect, collectively, the diversity of people involved in Rugby League;
  • be influential and respected for championing Inclusion, Equality and Anti-Discrimination in the wider world;
  • act as advocates for the RFL and Rugby League’s Inclusion, Equality and Anti-Discrimination work;
  • bring together, collectively, experience from across the professional and grassroots game, including the application of successful interventions;
  • be strategic and visionary, with the capacity to guide practical implementation; and
  • be able to challenge and provide constructive guidance to the RFL and Rugby League on inclusion, equality and anti-discrimination.

The board will meet four times a year. Members will serve two-year terms, after which they will be eligible for reappointment.

The TACKLE IT action plan is available on the RFL’s website.


Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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